Here are the original opening paragraphs as prominently displayed on the top of the online home-page yesterday:
Britain and France scrambled on Wednesday to address the latest flash point in Europe’s festering migrant crisis after a second consecutive night in which hundreds of people living in squalid camps in northern France sought to force their way through the Channel Tunnel.They've since been revised to read:
British ministers and officials held emergency talks in London as pressure mounted on both sides of the English Channel for tighter security around the tunnel and for broader measures to defuse the situation, the most recent to highlight the scale of illegal migration from the Middle East, Africa and other poor and war-torn regions into Europe.
They have reached Europe after often-treacherous journeys, usually across the Mediterranean. They have dodged the authorities as they made their way north toward their ultimate goal, Britain. But now, thousands of illegal migrants, refugees from war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, find themselves bottled up at one final choke point in northern France: the entrance to the Channel Tunnel.Wow, it's a miracle. Overnight, the migrants evolved from swarming invasive hordes into human beings -- albeit still "illegal." Of course, the Times revision is now buried well off the home-page. The original article was, unsurprisingly enough, a magnet for self-righteous xenophobic rants from all across the A-B political spectrum. But many astute commenters also noted the connection between the current migrant crisis and decades of American/NATO imperialism.
Over two nights this week, their desperation and frustration flared to new levels as they tried in far larger numbers than normal to breach the security around the tunnel and hide themselves amid the trucks and freight being shuttled by rail from Calais to southern England.
I wrote my own comment in response to the original lead:
This article immediately dehumanizes the migrants by describing their existential plight as a "festering" crisis.Many of the "festering" migrants are from Libya and Syria, destabilized by the Bush-era successors.
From the online Free Dictionary, definitions of festering:
1.venomous, vicious, smouldering, virulent, black-hearted; recrimination and festering resentment.
2. septic, infected, poisonous, inflamed, pussy, suppurating, ulcerated, purulent, maturating, gathering, afflicted by festering sores.
3. rotting, decaying, decomposing, putrefying The cobbles were littered with festering garbage.
Words matter, New York Times. This type of coded language gives credence to Donald Trump-style xenophobia.
Meanwhile, David Cameron wrings his delicate hands over the delays being suffered by affluent vacationers.
Where's the pity? Where's the empathy? Where are the prosecutions of the Bush-era war criminals who created this whole human catastrophe in the first place?
My favorite comment is by a Daily Kos reader named "dconrad," who channeled Donald Trump:
"If I am elected president I will build a wall in the middle of the English channel to keep these immigrants, who are rapists by the way, out of England and I will make France pay for it. The French are lightweights, and, frankly, losers. I don't respect anyone who got invaded by the Germans. And I will build a Trump hotel and casino on top of that wall, because I'm extremely successful and, I don't like to brag, but I'm very rich and if you don't believe me, just read The Art of the Deal, the greatest book ever written."